Remove the elephants from the circus
  • Petitioned Ringling Brothers Circus and Tom Vilsack

This petition was delivered to:

Secretary of Agriculture
Ringling Brothers Circus and Tom Vilsack

Remove the elephants from the circus

    1. Petition by

      Isabel Patrick-Sternin

      Chappaqua, NY

The Ringling Brothers Circus had been abusing their animals for years, specifically the elephahts. They are taken as children and "trained" for hours on end. The elephants babies legs are tied up and they are stretched and forced into painful positions that are required to learn for the circus. If they fail to do this correctly, or hesitate which is their natural instinct, they are beaten with stun guns, whips, and bats. They are foced to start preforming at the age of two.

The Ringling Brothers Circus website states that "Because animals are an integral part of what we present to our audiences, Ringling Bros. provides the highest standards of care to our animal preformers 365 days a year. Our staff consists of animal experts who devote their lives to living, working with, and caring for animals." However, in a video that was released of the elephants abuse, the head trainer says "Don't just touch them, hurt them! Make 'em scream!" when teaching the other trainers how to properly hit the elephants with a bat. Their physical abuse doesn't remotely meet standards let alone the "highest standards of care". 

In the wild, elephants spend up to 20 hours walking a day. At the circus, they're lucky to even roam around for a few hours. Even then, they are still surrounded by people and being beaten. 

In order to "break" the animals, in order to "crush their spirit", the elephants are taught that they depend on the trainer for everything. The trainers do this by sticking a bullhook (a stick with a sharp metal hook at the end) in the elephants noses, ears, and other sensitive areas. The trainers then pull the elephants around to show that the trainers have complete control. The bullhooks are even used to stab the elephants in their feet, chin, etc, as a punishment for not preforming correctly, or while they are standing still in closed areas, waiting to preform.

The elephants need to be taken out of the circus and be brought to one of the many elephant sancuaries that are ready to welcome the elephants. Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, is well aware of the abuse and refuses to do anything about it. The Ringling Bros. Circus has paid fines up to 16 million dollars, but it's not enough. No matter how much they pay, or how strict the standards are, these animals will still be taken from the wild and forced into countless hours of painful training in order to entertain a six year old for twenty minutes. The animal cruelty not only has to end, but the elephants need to be taken out of the circus and brought to a stable environment.

Please watch the video provided which shows pictures and clips of the abuse that goes on and the treatment they recieve from their trainers.

Stand up and fight for the animals that can't. 

This is another video on animal abuse which shows the trainer that I quoted above.




Ringling Brothers Circus and Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture
There are many elephant sanctuaries that are willing to take the elephants out of the Ringling Brothers Circus and bring them to live the rest of their lives in the sanctuary. The constant abuse needs to stop. Take the animals out of the circus.

[Your name]

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 1,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Frances Perol AUSTRALIA
      • 2 months ago

      Animals aren't laughing stocks.

    • Casilda Montgomery LOS ANGELES, CA
      • 3 months ago

      This foul abuse has been willfully perpetrated upon one of the planet's most intelligent creatures by Ringling Brothers for decades and must stop.

    • Beatriz Ferreira PORTUGAL
      • 3 months ago

      animals have feelings as well as humans!!!!!

    • Parker Johnston TORONTO, CANADA
      • 4 months ago

      I think we'll all be judged on how we treated the elephants. None of our usual excuses can be claimed.

    • Sam Bowman KENNESAW, GA
      • 4 months ago

      They are helpless animals, fucking hell, why should they suffer?


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